Sunday, April 10, 2011

Back and Front: Part 2--The Front

While the world on the backside of the Chatette is quiet, rooted and still, as I lean out one of the  front windows, the world becomes one of constant change and movement. The road, the river, and just across the valley, the farmers working in their fields bring this side of the house alive with a different kind of energy...the energy of action, of travel, of getting it done....whatever 'done' is!

When I arrived in the fall, the farmers across the Lot were busy cutting and baling hay and harvesting their crops. All day long I could hear and see their tractors and trucks 'getting it done'...bringing in the crops and readying the land for winter. During the cold winter months, their tractors were busy again moving big bales of hay. I could hear chain saws buzzing as they cut wood for their fireplaces. As the weather has warmed to spring, tractors have been plowing, disking and planting. Lots of labor-intensive activity as long, mounded rows are hand-planted and covered with plastic to keep the soil warm and hasten crop production. More 'getting it done' to insure income for the year.

Cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, Lance Armstrong wannabes in lycra, camping cars and caravans (motorhomes and travel trailers), the occasional pilgrim walking the river route...the world travels beneath my window. Literally...the house sits right on the road! When buses and big trucks pass, their whoosh rattles the windows and momentarily stops conversation. From around 5am til a bit after dark, travelers rush from here to there...getting the trip done and taking care of business.

But it's the river that brings never-ceasing movement....flowing and changing almost minute by minute. It's fascinating to watch it reflect the sunlight or shiver with a breeze. After a rain, it runs fast, sometimes muddy. Light dances on it in the early morning. When the wind blows upstream, it looks as if it's flowing backwards. Occasionally a fish will jump creating ever-widening circles of ripples. One warm day last fall a speed boat with a water-skier attached roared by right in front of the house; that's a 'no no' on this part of the river, but c'est la vie, as they say here! And before the road, the river was a highway for transporting people and goods to market...'getting it done' the old -fashioned way.
See the river flow? Watch the dancing diamonds! Did you catch the church bell chiming the half hour?

Back to front; quiet, still, unchanging to movement, action and busy-ness; each side of the Chatette reflects what has shaped this land for thousands of years. Stone and water; still and moving; stability and change, letting it be and getting it done.


  1. I'm reading through old posts trying to figure out where I got so confused ... for some reason, I thought you were heading back to the States. Glad to see the visit to France hasn't ended yet!

  2. I leave here on Friday, May 6th to spend the weekend in Paris. Then fly to the States on Monday, May 9th. Guess it's confusing because I'm such a 'plan ahead' person!

  3. Such lovely sights these have all been from your terrace?